A Night of “Black Dance” With Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Leave it to choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to jump-start one big spontaneous improv dance party during her “Black Jam” evening last night at Danspace Project (as part of the Platforms 2012: Parallels series). My iPhone camera could only capture a trace of the energy that was in the air, but when you gather a group of dancers together in a room — well, they dance.  Even the “old folks,” as Zollar affectionately called her fellow choreographers, joined in the act: Cynthia Oliver, Blondell Cummings, Bebe Miller–shedding her foot cast which became a welcome prop — not to mention Ishmael Houston-Jones, the mastermind curator behind this Platforms series.

Wordsmith Bob Holman’s improvised poem added some fun illustration to the happenings on stage. With new blood improvisers Hunter Carter, Samantha Speis and Marýa Wethers leading the way, and the infectious house music playing, it was hard to stay in your seat.  Audience members and dancers alike showed off their ‘house’ moves, including 11 year old Ashe Turner, who commanded center stage with her ‘star turn’ solo dance.

Expect something different tonight when Bebe Miller gets her turn to answer with an evening of “female dance makers.” But be prepared to take off your shoes and move!

Platform 2012: Parallels continues at Danspace Project through March 31st.